The “the Yankees want to void A-Rod’s contract” stories are nothing more than red meat for angry fans

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The headline of this story from Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews is sexy: “Yankees want A-Rod’s contract voided.”  And this passage suggests a Yankees front office which is hellbent on doing so:

According to an industry source, the Yankees “are looking at about 20 different things,” including whether Rodriguez breached the contract by taking medical treatment from an outside doctor without the team’s authorization, and the possibility that he may have broken the law by purchasing controlled substances from a Miami “wellness clinic” run by nutritionist Anthony Bosch.

But read the whole article and you can tell that it’s a lost cause, and both Matthews and Marchand seem to know it too, as they note all of the obstacles to doing such a thing. Kudos to those two, actually, in that they are getting across what their sources are saying while not being unduly credulous.  Wish we saw more of that in the media.

Here’s the nut of it all, though:

Still, if Major League Baseball finds cause to discipline Rodriguez based on allegations made in a 5,400-word story published by The Miami New Times, the Yankees will try to find an escape hatch from their remaining five-year, $114 million obligation to the three-time American League MVP.

Know what happens if MLB finds cause to discipline A-Rod? He gets disciplined. Know what sets forth the discipline for a PED violation? The Joint Drug Agreement. Know what does not allow for voiding a contract for PED discipline? The Joint Drug Agreement.

Of course the Yankees want A-Rod’s contract voided. It’s a crappy contract.  They wanted Jason Giambi’s voided too and didn’t try to do it after exhausting their options.  Or at least appearing to exhaust them.  Which is what I think this really is:  red meat for the angry fans. The Yankees way of showing them and the talk radio hosts that they’re upset too and, man, how bad that A-Rod guy is.

But they know they can’t void the deal. There are no grounds to do so and no mechanism to do so.  But as long as this makes someone feel better for a while I suppose it’s OK.

 

The umps have dropped their Ian Kinsler protest

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Over the weekend the World Umpires Association — the umpire’s union —  launched a protest in response to what it feels is Major League Baseball’s failure to adequately address the “escalating attacks” on the men in blue. They were specifically upset that Ian Kinsler didn’t get suspended for his remarks in which he said that Angel Hernandez should get out of the umpiring business because he’s terrible. Apparently to umpires truth is no defense. In any event, they wore white wristbands Saturday night as a sign of solidarity or whatever.

Now that’s over, it seems. At least for the time being. The Association released this statement yesterday afternoon:

“Today, WUA members agreed to the Commissioner’s proposal to meet with the Union’s Governing Board to discuss the concerns on which our white wristband protest is based. We appreciate the Commissioner’s willingness to engage seriously on verbal attacks and other important issues that must be addressed. To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wristbands pending the requested meeting.”

As many noted over the weekend — most notably Emma Span of Sports Illustrated — this protest was, at best, tone deaf. While officials are, obviously, due proper respect, a player jawing at an umpire is neither unprecedented nor very serious compared to, well, almost anything that goes on in the game or in society. At a time when people are literally taking to the streets to protest white supremacy, Neo-Nazis and the KKK, asking folks to spare thoughts for some people who sometimes have to take guff over ball and strike calls is not exactly a cause that is going to draw a ton of sympathy. And that’s before you address the fact that the umpires are not innocent when it comes to stoking the animosity between themselves and the players.

I wouldn’t expect to hear too much more out of this other than, perhaps, a relatively non-committal statement from Major League Baseball and a relatively detail-free declaration of victory by the umpires after their meeting.

 

Minor league teams prepare for a “total eclipse of the park”

Salem Volcanoes
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The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are a class-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Today, the path of totality of the big solar eclipse we’re not supposed to look at will pass right through the ballpark in which they play. What’s better: the Volcanoes are playing a game against the Hillsboro Hops as it happens.

This was by design: the team’s owner requested this home game when the schedule was made up two years ago specifically to market the heck out of the eclipse. They’re starting the game at 9:30 this morning, Pacific time, in order to maximize the fun. Spectators will receive commemorative eclipse safety glasses to wear. The game will be delayed when the eclipse hits and a NASA scientist named Noah Petro, who is from the area, will talk to the crowd about what is going on.

Salem-Keizer isn’t the only minor league game affected, by the way. There are six games in all which will feature a “total eclipse of the park.” Turn around, bright eyes.

There are no home MLB games going on in the path of totality, but MLB has put together a helpful guide in order to maximize your baseball and eclipse pleasure. If you line up some good beer with that you’l have your very own national pastime syzygy.